Tom O'Neil's Inside Track

Beware: the queen approaches! Here’s why Olivia Colman is a serious threat to grab the Oscar crown for Best Actress

One of the biggest false assumptions about the Oscars is that they usually go to the biggest stars – you know, Meryl Streep, Daniel Day-Lewis again and again. But that’s not really true. More than half of the acting winners turn out to be names relatively unknown to the movie-going public (and, let’s be honest, to many academy members, too). That’s because voters love to make new discoveries.

Consider, for example, some recent Best Actress champs: Brie Larson in “Room” (beating Cate Blanchett in “Carol”) and Marion Cotillard in “La Vie en Rose” (clobbering Julie Christie in “Away From Her”), etc. Currently, superstar Lady Gaga (“A Star Is Born”) is out front to win, according to 13 out of 27 Experts who are making predictions at Gold Derby. Seven say 6-time loser Glenn Close (“The Wife”) will finally prevail. But is that really the race? What’s all this scuttlebutt we keep hearing about little-known Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”), who is the choice of 5 Experts? Some of the Experts picking her are such formidable Oscar know-it-alls as Anne Thompson (Indiewire), Glenn Whipp (L.A. Times) and Michael Musto.

Watch out: Take those predictions seriously. Colman can really topple both Gaga and Close. Really.